Last week, Kenyan authorities detained more than 50 top officials and executives after widespread public anger prompted by allegations of the theft of more than £75m at government agencies. In response UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey and Irish Deputy Head of Mission Lisa Doherty, were among the Heads of Mission who welcomed the recent action by Kenyan authorities and called for joint efforts in fighting graft.
The statement reads:
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Corruption has long undermined Kenya’s prosperity, security, and democracy. It is, quite simply, theft from the Kenyan people. As friends, we welcome the recent action by the Director of Public Prosecutions, working with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, to charge officials in connection with reports of widespread corruption at the National Youth Service. We also welcome President Kenyatta’s statements and actions to address the corruption scourge. We urge that Kenya’s judiciary take swift action, consistent with the rule of law, to ensure fair trials and justice.
No country is free of corruption, and many of ours have faced challenges. There are no shortcuts to tackling the problem. It requires strong Kenyan political leadership, a commitment to zero tolerance for corruption, and all government and law enforcement agencies working together. When there is evidence of corruption, those responsible should be prosecuted regardless of political party, social stature, or personal connections. Individuals or organizations found guilty of stealing should be held accountable, to include forfeiting the proceeds of their crimes. And Kenyans need strong, reliable institutions and systems that reduce the opportunities for corruption.
As partners, we stand with Kenyans in the fight against corruption. Many of us are providing wide-ranging assistance and support in this effort and we will continue to do so. We know Kenyans can end corruption. The challenge is for all Kenyans to join hands, take decisive action, and make the changes that are needed.
Along with the British and Irish diplomats, the statement was signed by Robert F. Godec (Ambassador of the United States), Stefano Dejak (Ambassador, European Union Delegation to Kenya), Mette Knudsen (Ambassador of Denmark), Anna Jardfeldt (Ambassador of Sweden), Ralf Heckner (Ambassador of Switzerland), Frans Makken (Ambassador of the Netherlands), Tarja Fernández (Ambassador of Finland), Jutta Frasch (Ambassador of Germany), Mauro Massoni (Ambassador of Italy), Alison Chartres (High Commissioner for Australia), Pavel Rezac (Ambassador of Czech Republic), Sara Hradecky (High Commissioner for Canada), Frantisek Dlhopolcek (Ambassador of Slovak Republic), Jacek Bazanski (Ambassador of Poland), Julia Pataki (Ambassador of Romania) and Vebjørn Heines (Chargé d’Affaires of Norway).